2022 Atlanta 500: Business

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2022 Atlanta 500: Business
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BANKING & FINANCE

Atlanta 500: Kevin Blair

Kevin Blair
President and CEO
Synovus

Kevin Blair joined Synovus in August 2016 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He was appointed senior executive vice president and chief operating officer in December 2018 and was named president in December 2019. Blair was elected to the board of directors in December 2020 and became president and CEO on April 22, 2021. His financial services career began at Signet Bank in Richmond, Virginia, in 1995 and has included leadership in such areas as corporate strategy, line management, strategic finance, and credit risk management.

Education: James Madison University, George Washington University (MBA)
Notable achievements: Becoming CEO of Synovus Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Georgia. Father of four amazing children, ages 6 to 22. Led $7.2 million United Way annual fundraising campaign in 2020, a record for the Chattahoochee Valley region.
Why I chose this work: Banking is a noble profession. I feel we have the opportunity each day to help our clients achieve their financial goals and objectives


Atlanta 500: Raphael W. Bostic

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Raphael W. Bostic
President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Raphael W. Bostic is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve System. In 2017, he was recognized as a Planning Pioneer by the American Planning Association’s Los Angeles section, and he received an Urban Leadership Award from the Penn Institute for Urban Research in 2011. He is currently the chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Bostic is a native of Delran, New Jersey.

Education: Harvard University, Stanford University (PhD)
Hobbies: Birdwatching, sports
Charities: Affordable housing, Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Human Rights Campaign
Bucket list: Visiting the state capitol in Honolulu to complete goal of visiting the state capitol buildings in all 50 states


Atlanta 500: Cynthia N. Day

Cynthia N. Day
President and CEO
Citizens Bancshares Corporation and Citizens Trust Bank

Cynthia Day provides the vision and strategic direction for Citizens Trust Bank. During her tenure, the bank continues to reach many milestones including achieving record-level earnings since the inception of the institution. Navigating unprecedented times and a rapidly changing and competitive market landscape, Citizens Trust Bank remains healthy and financially strong. These achievements continue to receive recognition as Citizens Trust Bank has been consistently named one of the top African American–owned commercial banks in the country. On numerous occasions before it went private in 2017, the company was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of Georgia’s top 100 publicly traded companies.

Education: University of Alabama
Notable achievements: Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award (2020), Atlanta Business League CEO of the Year (2014)


Atlanta 500: Mike Donnelly

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Mike Donnelly
Region President of North Metro Atlanta
Wells Fargo

Mike Donnelly is region bank president of Wells Fargo consumer banking operations in northern Atlanta, one of the company’s top three markets in total consumer households served. An active civic leader, he’s held leadership positions with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, the Buckhead Coalition, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the University of Georgia Board of Visitors. Donnelly chaired the 2016-2017 campaign for United Way of Greater Atlanta. He chairs the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and is a past chair of Leadership Atlanta.

Education: Radford University


Atlanta 500 Kathy Farrell

Kathy Farrell
Head, Commercial Real Estate
Truist Financial Corporation

Kathy S. Farrell has more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance and banking, including origination, underwriting, capital markets, workout strategies, and risk management. Currently the head of commercial real estate at Truist, Kathy held the same title with SunTrust prior to the closing of the SunTrust-BB&T merger that formed Truist in December 2019. Farrell has also served at SunTrust as chief risk officer for commercial real estate, head of the REIT banking group, and REIT senior credit officer. Previously, she was executive vice president and credit executive of commercial real estate for PNC Bank.

Education: College of the Holy Cross
Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut
First job: Stuffing and rolling jelly doughnuts at Devore’s Bakery in my hometown
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Be patient and work hard at your current job. Careers are a marathon and not a sprint.


Atlanta 500 Ryan Glover

Ryan Glover
Chairman
Greenwood LLC

Ryan Glover, chairman and co-founder of the digital banking platform Greenwood, has more than 20 years of experience delivering products focused on the African American community. Glover, a seasoned entertainment industry vet, started Bounce TV in 2011. Bounce was the first African-American nationwide broadcast network. The Richmond, California, native also founded Noontime Records, a label responsible for more than a dozen Billboard No. 1 hits. He co-founded Greenwood in 2020 intending to help solve the generational wealth cap problem for the Black and Latinx communities. The digital banking platform’s name pays homage to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, district of Greenwood, which was known as “Black Wall Street” in the 1920s.

Education: Howard University
First job: Gas station attendant
Best advice received: With God all things are possible.
Hidden talent: Amazing chef
Hobbies: Coaching youth sports
Favorite travel destination: Africa
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep working.


Atlanta 500 Berwyn James “BJ” Green

Berwyn James “BJ” Green
Executive Vice President
Cadence Bank

As executive vice president and Georgia commercial banking executive at Cadence Bank, BJ Green oversees the strategic development, growth, quality, and profitability of commercial activities in Georgia. With over 25 years of experience in investment banking, corporate, and commercial banking (Banc of America Securities, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Wachovia), the Greensboro, North Carolina, native provides oversight and direction to the commercial banking team, which is focused on meeting the banking and financing needs of clients in a variety of industries. Green is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia’s Class of 2012, and is either an active or past board member of Trees Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Kenan-Flagler Business School Alumni Council, and St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP Georgia – Poverty Alleviation).

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University (MBA)
First job: Mowing yards in my neighborhood for $10
Lesson learned: Every time you get promoted it gets harder, not easier.
Favorite place to visit: Lake Rabun


Atlanta 500 John N. Gregg

John N. Gregg
Head, Corporate and Investment Banking
Truist Financial Corp.

John Gregg is the head of corporate and investment banking for Truist Financial Corp., leading a team of investment and corporate bankers and product specialists delivering strategic advisory, capital-raising, and financial risk-management solutions to large corporate and middle-market clients. Prior to the closing of the SunTrust-BB&T merger to form Truist in December 2019, Gregg served as chairman and CEO of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, and he has more than 30 years of experience in financial services. He currently serves on the board of Grady Health Foundation—where he helped establish the cycling event VeloCity—and was previously on the board of Trees Atlanta.

Education: North Carolina State University, Duke University Fuqua School of Business (MBA)
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Atlanta 500: Hank Halter

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Hank Halter
CEO
Delta Community Credit Union

Hank Halter is an accounting and finance professional with nearly 30 years of experience overseeing finance and accounting operations at Fortune 100 companies. Since 2013, he’s served as CEO of Delta Community Credit Union, one of Atlanta’s largest financial institutions and Georgia’s largest credit union. Halter, a CPA, came to the credit union from Delta Air Lines, where he held a variety of roles including chief financial officer. Previously he worked at American Airlines and Ernst & Young.

Education: Villanova University, Duke University (MBA)
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Toughest challenge: Helping lead Delta Air Lines through financial reorganization in the years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks
Favorite TV show: House of Cards
Bucket list: Convincing every consumer to find a credit union to join
Who’d play me in a biopic: Matt Damon


Atlanta 500 Jenna Kelly

Jenna Kelly
Georgia Regional President
Truist Financial Corporation

Jenna Kelly is the Truist regional president for Georgia, responsible for leading client management and business development efforts in the state. Prior to the 2019 SunTrust-BB&T merger, Kelly served as president of the Georgia division of SunTrust Bank. Previously, she was SunTrust’s Charlotte Region president. Kelly began her career in 1993 with Trust Company of Georgia. She serves on the board of Camp Twin Lakes and the leadership council of Learn4Life.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hometown: Atlanta
Notable achievement: Leadership Atlanta class of 2019
Why I chose this work: Banking offered the opportunity to feed my curiosity for how things work and to develop relationships in order to help companies grow.
Best advice received: Ask questions.
Bucket list: South America wine trip


Atlanta 500: Randy Koporc

Randy Koporc
President and CEO
Fifth Third Bank Georgia

Randy Koporc serves as president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank in Georgia, responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the bank’s commercial, wealth and asset management, and consumer businesses. Under his leadership, the bank has accelerated its growth in the region and worked with many local organizations to strengthen communities in the Atlanta area and beyond. Koporc has been with Fifth Third Bank since 2010; before joining the company he worked for more than two decades for Wells Fargo. He serves on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Westside Future Fund Development committee, Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Buckhead Coalition, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and other local groups.

Education: University of Florida, University of Central Florida (MBA)
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
First job: Runway flight crew member for Delta Air Lines in Orlando
Hobbies: Coaching my kids in baseball, golf, traveling
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Chattahoochee River


Aron Levine

Aron Levine
President, Preferred and Consumer Banking and Investments
Bank of America

Aron Levine is the president of Preferred and Consumer Banking and Investments for Bank of America as well as a member of the company’s executive management team. Responsible for the growth of the Preferred business—one of Bank of America’s eight lines of business, which provides banking, investing, and lending solutions to U.S. mass affluent customers—Levine also leads a team of more than 40,000 employees responsible for helping meet the financial needs of clients through the bank’s Consumer Investments Group, which provides access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the banking convenience of Bank of America.

Education: University of Rochester
Hometown: New York, New York
Inspiring person: Omar Bradley, one of the primary architects of the Normandy invasion, who later became general of the U.S. Army
Charities: Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Horizons Atlanta, Operation HOPE


Atlanta 500: William H. Linginfelter

William H. Linginfelter
President
Regions Bank

Bill Linginfelter oversees commercial revenue growth, business model execution, and strategic planning in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for Regions, a Birmingham-based bank that operates throughout the South, Midwest, and Texas. Throughout his 40-year career, Linginfelter has held various management positions in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Regions in 2008, the Saint Simons Island native served as Georgia CEO for Wachovia, and before that was director of SouthTrust Bank’s Enterprise Banking Division. He serves on many boards, is chair of the Georgia Allies, and is a past chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Research Alliance.

Education: University of Georgia
First job: Paperboy on Saint Simons Island
Inspiring person: Ronald Reagan
Favorite travel destination: The beach
Bucket list: Italy


Atlanta 500 Alfred L. McRae Jr.

Alfred L. McRae Jr.
President
Bank of America Atlanta

In November, Alfred “Al” L. McRae Jr. became president of Bank of America Atlanta. His team includes about 5,000 workers in 120 offices. A native of Dublin, Georgia, McRae came to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University. He stresses Bank of America’s commitment to serving the community and is especially concerned with racial equity. Last year, Bank of America committed $1.25 billion nationally toward advancing racial equity and economic opportunity nationwide over a five-year period. Locally, the bank has supported the Atlanta University Center and organizations such as the Grove Park Foundation.

Education: Georgia State University
Best advice received: Proactively seek out those situations and positions that make you most uncomfortable; that’s where the opportunity for growth and development will reside.
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Your reputation is the most valuable and enduring quality you will ever have.
Why I chose this work: I have a deep passion for playing a role in the financial success of families and institutions.


Atlanta 500: Eddie Meyers

Eddie Meyers
Regional President, Georgia
PNC Bank

Eddie Meyers serves as executive vice president and Georgia president for PNC Bank, and is PNC’s first regional president of African-American and Latino descent. Named to his current position in 2011, Meyers previously served as executive vice president of PNC Business Credit and as senior vice president and national investment manager of Harris Williams, PNC’s investment banking unit. In 2008, he helped facilitate the successful integration of National City Bank after its acquisition by PNC. A former Marine Corps captain who was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for his service in the Gulf War, Meyers was also a running back for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1980s. He currently serves as an executive board member for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and was a former chairman for Central Atlanta Progress and board member and officer of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Education: U.S. Naval Academy, National University (MBA)
Notable achievements: 1982 College Player of the Year, running back for the Atlanta Falcons, awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for Service in Gulf War


Atlanta 500: David Preter

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David Preter
President and CEO
Georgia’s Own Credit Union

Dave Preter is president and CEO of Georgia’s Own Credit Union, a nearly $3 billion financial services institution. Before assuming his current role in 2011, Preter facilitated growth in the credit union industry by bolstering and executing the strategic plans of several organizations in the Midwest and Southeast. Under his leadership, Georgia’s Own has seen membership grow by 24 percent and assets nearly double. Georgia’s Own Foundation, which Preter created, amplifies the organization’s commitment to the community by empowering local youth

Education: University of Missouri
Few people know: Delivering papers at age 13, I learned that if you work harder and longer than others, you get more opportunities and better pay. That worked for my next three student jobs: caddie, fast food cook, and exterminator. It worked in my professional career too.
Favorite movies: The Marvel movies
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity


Atlanta 500 Jai Rogers

Jai Rogers
Vice President, Business and Community Development
Delta Community Credit Union

Jai Rogers joined Delta Community Credit Union in 2012 as vice president of business and community development, overseeing a team responsible for identifying and developing business strategies with leading corporations throughout metro Atlanta and at multiple out-of-state branch locations. Rogers leads the execution of a comprehensive community-engagement strategy to strengthen civic, high school, and corporate collaborations. Prior to joining Delta Community, Rogers launched and directed the corporate development department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Education: California State University, Long Beach
Inspiring person: My mother always encouraged me to pursue my love of travel by telling me that I “can always come home” if my plans did not work out.
Few people know: My twin sister and I have the same first name.
Favorite travel destinations: Alaska, Bali, Costa Rica


Atlanta 500: Jack Sawyer

Jack Sawyer
Partner and Managing Director
Cresset Capital
Managing Director
Navigation Capital

A partner and managing director for Cresset Capital in the Atlanta region, Jack Sawyer is a fiduciary attorney working in investment advisory services. He specializes in trust and estate management, charitable planning, private foundation administration, and family office services. He is also a managing director for Navigation Capital, focusing on their SPAC Operations Group. He is on the boards of several private foundations and nonprofits, including Andee’s Army, the nsoro Foundation, the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, Open Hand, the Georgia Museum of Art, and the High Museum. He received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award in 2011 and has been honored by the Atlanta History Center Swan House Ball, the National Black Arts Festival, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the United Negro College Fund Mayors’ Masked Ball, Tiffany’s Blue Angels, and more.

Education: University of Georgia, Mercer University School of Law (JD)
Best advice received: Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself; something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.”


Atlanta 500: Justin A. Sullivan

Justin A. Sullivan
Senior Vice President and Market Leader
PNC Private Bank

Justin A. Sullivan helps ensure that clients benefit from a full complement of investment, trust, financial planning, and private banking services to help them achieve their financial goals. He has regularly been featured on local television, national radio, and multiple written publications sharing advice on investments and financial planning and has been recognized and awarded by PNC for six consecutive years as a top-performing investment professional. In 2018, he was recognized by InvestmentNews magazine as one of the top 40 financial professionals under 40 years of age across the country. He currently serves on the board of X Books, a nonprofit which provides books for incarcerated individuals.

Education: University of Pittsburgh
Hometown: Philadelphia
Favorite book: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Favorite travel destination: Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Center for Civil and Human Rights


Atlanta 500: Douglas L. Williams

Douglas L. Williams
President and CEO
Atlantic Capital Bancshares

Douglas L. Williams is president, CEO, and a director of Atlantic Capital Bank and its holding company, Atlantic Capital Bancshares. He has nearly 40 years of experience in banking, finance, and capital markets, and extensive experience in executive management roles at publicly held banking institutions. Previously, the Atlanta native was managing director and head of Wachovia’s International Corporate Finance Group, with responsibility for Wachovia’s investment banking and corporate finance activities in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Education: Auburn University
First job: Corporate-banking trainee at Wachovia
Hobbies: Running, reading, spending time with family
Favorite books: The Last Lion, William Manchester’s three-volume biography of Winston Churchill


INVESTMENT ADVISORS & FUNDS

Atlanta 500: Asad Abdulla

Asad Abdulla
Managing Partner
Radazon Capital

Asad Abdulla is the managing partner of Radazon Capital, an entrepreneurial investment fund that includes accomplished entrepreneurs and distinguished investors with a passion for growing lower-middle–market companies. Abdulla is actively involved in the Atlanta community and serves as a pro bono consultant for non-profit organizations and as a career mentor to aspiring professionals. In 2018, he was one of the Emory Alumni Association’s annual 40 Under 40 honorees.

Education: Emory University, Columbia Business School (MBA)
First job: Rolling burritos at Taco Bell
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Focus on developing a few distinct skills that may not always go together. Bringing these different skills together is what will differentiate you, just like the Chick-fil-A sauce magically brings together honey mustard, barbecue, and ranch in a unique and differentiated taste. What’s your Chick-fil-A sauce?
Favorite travel destination: Savannah
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Downtown Decatur


Atlanta 500: Neal Aronson

Neal Aronson
Founder and Managing Partner
Roark Capital Group

Neal Aronson is founder and managing partner of Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that focuses on consumer and business service companies, with a specialization in franchised and multiunit business models in the restaurant, retail, consumer, and business services sectors. Affiliates of Roark have acquired 95 franchise/multi-location brands which generate approximately $54 billion in system revenues from 64,000 locations located in 50 states and 89 countries. Prior to founding Roark, Aronson was cofounder and chief financial officer of U.S. Franchise Systems. Previously, he was a principal of Odyssey Partners, a principal and general partner at Acadia Partners (now Oak Hill Partners), and subsequently a managing director of a successor company, Rosecliff. He began his career in the corporate finance department at Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Education: Lehigh University


Atlanta 500: Robert Balentine

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Robert Balentine
Chairman
Balentine

Robert Balentine is chairman of Balentine, bringing more than 35 years of experience advising clients on matters related to their wealth and legacy. The Atlanta native has built, bought, and sold businesses and counseled many entrepreneurial clients on business and wealth management. In 2013, Balentine was the inaugural recipient of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, and both Barron’s and Forbes have named him one of the country’s top wealth advisers.

Education: Washington and Lee University
Toughest challenge: Convincing 16 colleagues to leave secure jobs in the depths of the financial crisis to start over and build the kind of firm we would hire to manage our own money
Favorite book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Charities: Southern Highlands Reserve, Garden Conservancy, Rotary International


Atlanta 500 Andy Berg

Andy Berg
Principal and CEO
Homrich Berg

Andy Berg is the CEO of the wealth management firm Homrich Berg, which he cofounded with David Homrich in 1989 with the belief that high-net-worth individuals need access to conflict-free financial planning and investment advice. A member of the Financial Planning Association, the North Atlanta Tax Council, the Georgia Planned Giving Council, the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, and the board of the Atlanta Police Foundation, Berg is also a contributor to financial media and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

Education: Purdue University
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Notable achievement: Barron’s top independent advisor and Hall of Fame advisor and Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for high net worth for Atlanta
Hobbies: Golf


 

Atlanta 500: Michael FiermanMichael Fierman
Managing Partner and Co-CEO
Angel Oak Companies

Michael Fierman is managing partner and co-CEO of Angel Oak Companies, a firm focused on credit opportunities within asset management, capital markets, and mortgage lending. The Atlanta native provides strategic direction and leadership to Angel Oak’s various businesses, with a focus on mortgage lending and asset management. Previously, Fierman was a cofounder of SouthStar Funding, a national wholesale mortgage lender specializing in non-agency mortgage products that funded as much as $6.5 billion annually in non-agency mortgages.

Education: University of Georgia
Inspiring person: My mother
Hidden talent: I am an instrument-rated pilot.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Don’t chase money. Find your passion and surround yourself with the smartest people you can find. Good things will happen.


Atlanta 500 Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan
President and CEO
Invesco

Martin Flanagan has been president and CEO of Invesco since 2005. He’s also a director, as well as trustee and vice chair of the Invesco Funds. Flanagan joined Invesco from Franklin Resources, where he was president and co-CEO from 2004 to 2005. He’d previously held numerous leadership positions at Franklin, including chief operating officer and senior vice president. Flanagan serves on the board of governors and as a member of the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute, and is a member of the executive board of the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business and 2020 Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Education: Southern Methodist University


Atlanta 500: James W. Hamilton Jr.

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James W. Hamilton Jr.
Senior Vice President and South Atlantic Regional Director
Raymond James Financial

Jim Hamilton, senior vice president and South Atlantic regional director for Raymond James Financial, brings more than four decades of industry and client-services experience to his current role. Hamilton began his career in the financial services industry with Shearson Hayden Stone, later becoming a branch manager at Robinson Humphrey and a regional director with Morgan Keegan, which he joined in 1999. Hamilton formed his current team with his son, Jimmy, in 2014.

Education: Mississippi State University
Favorite book: A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
Bucket list: New Zealand
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Hardy


Atlanta 500: Aziz Hashim

Aziz Hashim
Founder and Managing Partner
NRD Capital

Aziz Hashim is the managing partner of NRD Capital, a private equity firm he founded in 2014 that invests in companies that offer compelling unit-level economics, as well as in technologies that improve the profitability of operators. Its portfolio includes iconic brands such as Ruby Tuesday and Frisch’s Big Boy, and fast-growing concepts like Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and the Captain’s Boil. Widely recognized as a leading expert in franchising, the Atlanta native is also the founder of Franklin Junction, a digital platform launched in April 2020 to help restaurants weather the COVID-19 crisis by monetizing excess kitchen and storage capacity.

Education: University of California, Irvine
Notable achievements: UCI Samueli School of Engineering Hall of Fame (2020), Nation’s Restaurant News Power List (2018), Restaurant Business Magazine Power 20 (2018)
First job: Burger King
Best advice received: Think beyond your current situation and project to where you wish to be.


Atlanta 500 Christine Hurtsellers

Christine Hurtsellers
CEO
Voya Investment Management

Christine Hurtsellers is CEO of Voya Investment Management, the asset management business of Voya Financial, which helps Americans plan, invest, and protect their savings. In this leadership role, Hurtsellers drives the strategic direction and operational performance of Voya Investment Management, which managed over $253 billion in assets as of June 2021 for both affiliated and external institutions as well as individual investors. The firm, which has a more than 40-year history, is a top-25 manager of U.S. institutional and defined contribution assets across equities, fixed income, and multi-asset strategies and solutions. Hurtsellers also serves on Voya Financial’s executive committee.

Education: Indiana University
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Why I chose this work: I participated in Junior Achievement, and I was the CFO of our JA company. I fell in love with finance as a result.
Favorite books: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Truist Park for Braves games


Atlanta 500: Ted Jenkin

Ted Jenkin
CEO
oXYGen Financial

Ted Jenkin is the founder and CEO of oXYGen Financial, a financial services company with $1.5 billion in assets under management. In 2017 and 2018, Investopedia ranked him among the top 10 financial advisers in the country. Jenkin is a featured personal-finance expert for HLN and a guest writer for the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. He has six advanced designations from the College for Financial Planning, and lives in Milton with his wife, Genna, and their three children.

Education: Boston College
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
Why I chose this work: My mother was a fifth-grade schoolteacher. My father passed away when I was 18 and left my mother in financial shambles. I wanted to dedicate my life to a place where I could use my mother’s skills of being a teacher, but also be able to educate the masses about how to do better with their financial future.
First job: Dog walker
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Cruise


Atlanta 500 Donte Miller

Donte Miller
Cofounder and Executive Director
Village Micro Fund

Donte Miller is executive director of the nonprofit Village Micro Fund, which he founded in 2014 with Nathan Jones and Robin McKinnie. The organization offers support and classes to entrepreneurs in underserved communities and uses crowdfunding to invest in small businesses. VMF also created a Worker’s Equity Fund that uses equity investments to turn small businesses into worker-owned cooperatives by selling shares back to employees. Previously, Miller has had work experience at Goldman Sachs, Google, and the Atlanta Micro Fund, and he’s been featured on WABE and in the Bitter Southerner.

Education: Morehouse College
First job: My first unofficial job was sweeping up hair at a local barbershop in the mall. My first real job was as an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco right in the midst of Occupy Wall Street—so, a fun time.
Inspiring person: Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya


Atlanta 500 David Nicholas

David Nicholas
President and Founder
Nicholas Wealth Management

David Nicholas is the president and founder of Nicholas Wealth Management, a private wealth management firm that helps clients—from families to corporations—navigate the world of financial markets and economics. A sought-after commentator on financial and economic matters, Nicholas also hosts a weekly radio show and has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox & Friends, and CBS News.

Education: Kennesaw State University, University of Georgia (MS)
Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia
Notable achievement: Member of the Buckhead Coalition’s Diplomatic Leadership Corps, a onetime honor given in recognition of the coalition’s 25th anniversary
First job: My lawn company I started at 15 years old


Atlanta 500: David Panton

David Panton
Managing Partner
Navigation Capital Partners

David Panton is managing partner of Navigation Capital Partners’ SPAC Opportunity Partners, an investment firm focused on building a diversified portfolio of investments in special-purpose acquisitions companies using three strategies: providing sponsor capital, leading investments in SPAC initial public offerings, and investing in and pricing private investments in public entities for SPACs. Panton is also a cofounder of Navigation Capital Partners and the chair of Panton Equity Partners, a private family office he founded in 2012. A former member of Jamaica’s Senate, Panton is also an adjunct professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Education: Princeton University, Oxford University (PhD), Harvard Law School (JD)
Hometown: Mandeville, Jamaica
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe & Upscale Lounge


Atlanta 500: Eric Schimpf

Eric Schimpf
Division Executive, Southeast
Merrill Lynch

As division executive of Merrill Lynch’s Southeast Division, Eric Schimpf oversees more than 4,400 employees, over $2.7 billion in revenue, and $414 billion in assets. Based in Atlanta, Schimpf’s division encompasses 18 markets in the Southeast, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Schimpf serves as executive sponsor of the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Black/African American Leadership Council and the Bank of America Black Professionals Group. He began his career at Merrill Lynch as a financial adviser in 1994.

Education: U.S. Military Academy
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hidden talent: I love ’80s heavy metal music, and I still play guitar every day.
Favorite travel destinations: Hong Kong, Sydney
Bucket list: Skydiving with my son Cory


Atlanta 500: John Wright II

John Wright II
CEO and Managing Partner
Northwestern Mutual
Goodwin, Wright

John Wright II is CEO and managing partner of Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright, which consistently ranks as a leading national financial planning firm focused on mitigating risk and growing generational wealth. The firm’s commitment to service has catapulted it to the number one slot among life insurance providers and number eight among financial planning and advisory firms in Atlanta. Today, Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright has over $50 billion of life insurance in force and, under Wright’s leadership, assets under management have grown to more than $7 billion. Most notably, he is committed to a culture of respect and has earned meaningful awards including Most Admired CEO, Best Places to Work, Atlanta’s Healthiest Employers, and national and local D&I Corporate Champion awards. Working closely with key company leaders, he is successfully changing the “face” of the financial planning industry through his commitment to attracting diverse professionals to the career.


PRIVATE COMPANIES

Atlanta 500: Arthur Blank

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Arthur M. Blank
Owner and Chairman
Blank Family of Businesses
Founder
AMB Group

Best known as cofounder of the Home Depot, Arthur Blank is now widely recognized for his diverse businesses: The Arthur M. Blank Family of Businesses portfolio includes the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA Tour Superstore, the Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch, and AMB Group, the parent company of Blank’s for-profit businesses. Blank and the Falcons, in partnership with the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia, are the private funders of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The stadium is operated by Atlanta Falcons Stadium Co., a company also owned by AMB Group, and is home to the Falcons and Atlanta United.

Education: Babson College
Notable achievements: SportsBusiness Journal Sports Executive of the Year (2018), Forbes World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds (2017), SportsBusiness Journal 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business (2016)


Atlanta 500: Paul Brown

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Paul Brown
Cofounder and CEO
Inspire Brands

Paul Brown is cofounder and CEO of Inspire Brands, a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 11,100 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. Inspire is supported by more than 325,000 company team members and franchise employees.

Education: Georgia Tech, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (MBA), Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (MA)
Notable achievements: International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award (2018 ), Restaurant Business Restaurant Leader of the Year (2017), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Southeast (2016)
Charities: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Tech Foundation, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Woodruff Arts Center, Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, Atlanta Police Foundation


Atlanta 500: Jill Campbell

Jill Campbell
Executive Vice President and Chief People and Operations Officer
Cox Enterprises

Jill Campbell is the executive vice president and chief people and operations officer for Cox Enterprises, a private, family-owned communications, media, and automotive-services company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues and nearly 50,000 employees worldwide. Campbell leads the real estate, aviation, people solutions, facilities, security, and corporate affairs departments. She previously served as executive vice president and chief operations officer of Cox Communications, overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and ensuring companywide alignment with competitive strategies to enhance marketplace execution and grow Cox’s 6 million residential and commercial customers. Campbell joined Cox in 1982 as director of communications in Oklahoma City.

Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Oklahoma City University (MBA)
First job: Working at my parents’ park concession stands selling popcorn and cotton candy at age 12
Charities: Girl Talk, Atlanta History Center
Bucket list: Antarctica


Atlanta 500: Andrew T. Cathy

Andrew T. Cathy
CEO
Chick-fil-A Inc.

Andrew T. Cathy became the third CEO in the history of Chick-fil-A Inc. in November 2021, following in the footsteps of his father, current chairman Dan T. Cathy, and his late grandfather, founder S. Truett Cathy. With extensive experience working in Chick-fil-A restaurants and serving in multiple support center roles, Cathy is committed to ensuring the future of Chick-fil-A as a healthy, purpose-driven, global organization devoted to making a lasting, positive impact on the people and communities it serves. He is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2020.

Education: University of Georgia
Most inspiring person: My high school track coach. He made a significant impact on many lives including mine.
Favorite book: The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder


Atlanta 500: Dan T. Cathy

Dan T. Cathy
Chairman
Chick-fil-A Inc.

Dan T. Cathy is chairman of Chick-fil-A, Inc., one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses. He was previously the company’s chief executive officer, serving as CEO from 2013 until November 1, 2021, when his son Andrew T. Cathy became the third CEO in Chick-fil-A history. The son of Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy, Dan continues to build on his late father’s legacy as chairman, helping guide the business and supporting Chick-fil-A’s executive leaders.

Education: Georgia Southern University
Toughest challenge: Sixteen years ago, I was significantly burned in an accident at my home. Through this I learned that our most difficult times in life can teach us profound things, that you’re never too busy for what’s important, and that it’s important to lead and live with gratitude.
Hidden talent: I’m an avid trumpet player.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity
Charities: Westside Future Fund, City of Refuge, Eagle Ranch, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta Music Project


Atlanta 500: Joe Christina

Photograph courtesy of individual

Joe Christina
President and CEO
Church’s Chicken

Joe Christina, who leads the global teams for Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken, has spent his entire career in the restaurant industry—starting as an assistant restaurant manager and eventually becoming a franchisee with Burger King. As his career progressed, Christina served as Church’s executive vice president of U.S. operations, providing strategic planning and execution for 1,500 restaurants and $1.2 billion in sales. He became CEO of the company in 2016.

Education: Quinnipiac University
First job: Delivering Pepsi with my father
Hidden talent: Trivia, especially movies
Charities: No Kid Hungry, Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Bucket list: Trip to Italy with my wife
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Hanks


Atlanta 500 René M. Diaz

René M. Diaz
President and CEO
Diaz Foods

René Diaz is president and CEO of Atlanta-based Diaz Foods, a specialty-foods distributor to restaurants and grocers in 28 states, with 400 employees and sales of $200 million. Diaz Foods was founded in 1980 and is a privately owned company. Diaz has served on the boards of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Leadership Atlanta, and Emory Center for Ethics, among others. Born in Cuba, he came to the U.S. at age six.

Education: Georgia State University
Notable achievements: Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia (2018), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta Legacy Award (2003), Leadership Atlanta class of 1994
Favorite travel destination: Paris
Hobbies: Art collecting


Atlanta 500: Christian Fischer

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Christian Fischer
President and CEO
Georgia-Pacific

Born and educated in Germany, Christian Fischer became president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific in 2017. He previously served as executive vice president of the packaging and cellulose segment, responsible for GP’s containerboard and kraft paper, corrugated packaging, bleached board, and cellulose businesses. He began his career with the company in 1989 as a market pulp sales manager in Europe. Fischer is on the executive committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of councilors for The Carter Center.

Education: University of Hamburg, University of Düsseldorf
Hidden talent: I once wanted to become a writer.
Hobbies: Listening to music, reading, watching movies, traveling, food
Favorite book: A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr


Atlanta 500: S. Taylor Glover

Photograph courtesy of individual

S. Taylor Glover
President and CEO
Turner Enterprises

Taylor Glover is president and CEO of Turner Enterprises, a private company that manages Ted Turner’s business affairs. Glover has oversight of Turner Enterprises’ landholdings, financial investments, and business interests, and works closely with Turner’s philanthropic and charitable organizations, serving as an adviser to the boards of the UN Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Turner Foundation. Previously Glover, a native of Newnan, was a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch, where he retired after nearly 30 years.

Education: University of Georgia
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, golf
Charities: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Woodruff Arts Center, Nature Conservancy of Georgia


Atlanta 500: Jim Hannan

Jim Hannan
Executive Vice President
Koch Industries
CEO
Koch Enterprises

As executive vice president of Koch Industries and CEO of Koch Enterprises, Hannan is responsible for oversight of Georgia-Pacific, Infor, Molex, Koch Engineered Solutions, and Koch Investments Group, as well as Koch’s logistics, communications, and public-sector groups. Previously, as CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific, he oversaw one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, pulp, paper, cellulose, nonwovens, building products, and related chemicals. Hannan began his career with Koch Industries in 1998 as chief financial officer in the mineral services unit.

Education: California State University, East Bay
Notable achievements: American Jewish Committee National Human Relations Award (2016), Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry PIMA Executive of the Year Award (2015), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEOs (2014)


Atlanta 500: Doug Hertz

Photograph courtesy of United Distributors, Inc.

Doug Hertz
President and CEO
United Distributors

Doug Hertz has been CEO of United Distributors since 1984. Under his leadership, the beverage distribution business has grown to be listed as one of the top 25 private companies in Atlanta. Hertz sits on the boards of Atlantic Capital Bank, Camp Twin Lakes, Georgia Power, Georgia Ports Authority, Holly Lane Foundation, and the Marcus Foundation. He has also served as chairman of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons. A native Atlantan, Hertz began his career with KPMG in New Orleans, working in the accounting and consulting services area.

Education: Tulane University (MBA)
Notable achievements: Hertz is chairman of Camp Twin Lakes, a facility he founded in 1989 for chronically ill and disadvantaged children. He also helped engineer the merger of Scottish Rite and Egleston pediatric hospitals to establish Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, now one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country.


Atlanta 500 Jim Kennedy

James C. Kennedy
Chairman
Cox Enterprises

James C. Kennedy is chairman and former CEO of Cox Enterprises, a privately held broadband, media, and automotive-services company founded by his grandfather, James M. Cox, in 1898. Kennedy joined in 1972 as a production assistant in Cox’s newspaper division, and has held various positions including reporter, copy editor, business manager, and executive vice president/general manager. He was named chairman and CEO in 1988. During Kennedy’s tenure, Cox has increased annual revenues from $1.88 billion to nearly $20 billion.

Education: University of Denver
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Notable achievements: A former competitive cyclist, Kennedy is a past Masters National, Pan American, and World champion in the 3,000-meter pursuit. He served as captain of a four-man team that won the Race Across America in 1992, setting a world record.
Hobbies: Avid outdoorsman
Charities: Education, healthcare, sustainability


Atlanta 500 Natalie Morhous

Natalie Morhous
President
RaceTrac Petroleum

As president of RaceTrac Petroleum, Natalie Morhous is a third-generation leader in an 85-year-old family-owned business. Founded in 1934 by Morhous’s grandfather Carl Borch Sr., RaceTrac Petroleum is one of the largest family-owned and operated convenience-and-fuel retail businesses in the South. Morhous joined the company in 2012, serving in a variety of roles including vice president of energy dispatch before becoming president in 2019. Previously, she worked as a strategy and management consultant in Washington, D.C.

Education: Connecticut College, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Hometown: Atlanta
Notable Achievement: Convenience Store Decisions 40 Under 40 (2015)
First job: Camp counselor at Westminster Summer Camps in Atlanta


Atlanta 500: Farooq Mughal

Farooq B. Mughal
Chairman and Managing Partner
Mughal Strategies Global Partners

As chairman and managing partner of Mughal Strategies Global Partners, Farooq Mughal focuses his practice on government relations, business advisory, and public engagement. Since founding the firm in 2008, Mughal has built it into a government relations powerhouse that has come to be regarded as one of the state’s best. Mughal has worked with clients in nearly every sector of the economy, developing and executing business and government strategies on a diverse range of issues including international trade, agriculture, aviation, and technology. He is a member of Leadership Gwinnett’s class of 2021.

Education: Mercer University
Why I chose this work: Everyone has a stake in the policies enacted by federal, state, and local governments. I was inspired to make the political, legislative, and lobbying field more diverse and inclusive for all Americans.
Best advice received: From my dad and mom: “Be humble and treat everyone with respect—especially those who cannot do anything for you.”


Atlanta 500: Gregg Paradies

Photograph courtesy of individual

Gregg Paradies
President and CEO
Paradies Lagardère

Gregg Paradies is president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère, a leading airport travel retailer and restaurateur in North America with more than 950 stores and restaurants in more than 100 airports. With expertise in international, national, and local brands, Paradies Lagardère works with airport, brand, and supplier partners to create memorable and positive experiences for travelers. Gregg Paradies is responsible for the company’s overall business and ensuring that it continues its strong tradition of providing exceptional customer service, superior design, and award-winning store and restaurant operations and management.

Education: University of Texas at Austin
Best advice received: You cannot do wrong by doing right.
Hobbies: Outdoor sports
Favorite book: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
Favorite travel destination: Colorado


Atlanta 500: Donata Russell Ross

Donata Russell Ross
CEO
Concessions International

Donata Russell Ross is the CEO of Concessions International, a national food and beverage concessionaire that currently operates and manages facilities in eight major airports across the country. Russell Ross has been an integral part of Concessions International’s management team for more than 35 years and previously served as president. She’s also president of the Herman J. Russell Foundation—a family foundation named for Russell Ross’s father, the legendary Atlanta builder—which supports community initiatives and programs focusing on entrepreneurship, youth development, and mentoring. Russell Ross has served on the boards of many organizations including the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Education: University of Pennsylvania
Notable achievement: One of a handful of African American women leading a food and beverage company
First job: IBM marketing rep
Lesson learned: You can’t please everyone.
Favorite TV show: The Wire
Favorite travel destination: Anywhere warm and with water


Atlanta 500: Alexander C. Taylor

Photograph courtesy of individual

Alexander C. Taylor
President and CEO
Cox Enterprises

Alex Taylor is president and CEO of Cox Enterprises, a broadband, media, and automotive-services company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues and nearly 50,000 employees worldwide. He is responsible for the company’s two major subsidiaries—Cox Communications and Cox Automotive—as well as the Cox Family Office and corporate functions, including investment in the company’s sustainability portfolio plus financial operations, technology, human resources, and administration. Taylor is the great-grandson of former Ohio governor James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898

Education: Vanderbilt University
First job: Reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado
Hidden talent: Author of The Longest Cast: The Fly-Fishing Journey of a Lifetime. All royalties from the book were donated to the International Game Fish Association for the preservation of endangered fishing sanctuaries.


PUBLIC COMPANIES

Atlanta 500: Mark Begor

Photograph courtesy of individual

Mark Begor
CEO
Equifax

Mark Begor was named CEO of Equifax and a member of its board of directors in April 2018. He served previously as a managing director in the Industrial and Business Services group at Warburg Pincus, a $40 billion private equity firm with more than 120 portfolio companies. Begor spent 35 years at GE, most recently as president and CEO of its $8 billion Energy Management business, and prior to that as president and CEO of GE Capital Real Estate. He also served as president and CEO of GE Capital Retail Finance (Synchrony Financial). Begor was a senior vice president and member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council for 10 years, and a GE officer for 19 years. He also served as the chief financial officer at NBCUniversal Media and as GE’s Investor Relations leader, overseeing many acquisitions and dispositions.

Education: Syracuse University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MBA)


Atlanta 500 Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue
Chairman & CEO
Genuine Parts Company

Paul Donahue currently serves as chairman and CEO of Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC), a Fortune 200 global distributor of automotive and industrial parts. GPC serves its global customers from an extensive network of more than 10,000 locations in 15 countries and generates annual revenues of approximately $18 billion. Donahue was named chairman in April 2019 after being elected CEO in May 2016. He is a 19-year veteran of GPC and has held several key management positions, including executive leadership roles at S. P. Richards Company, Genuine Parts Company’s business products group, and the U.S. automotive parts group. His board memberships include Truist Bank’s Board of Directors, the Shepherd Center Foundation Board of Trustees, the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center Advisory Committee, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he will become chair in 2023.

Education: University of Northern Iowa
Nonprofits: United Way and City of Refuge


Atlanta 500 Rob Lynch

Rob Lynch
President and CEO
Papa John’s International

Rob Lynch became president and CEO of Papa John’s International in August 2019. Prior to that, the Pittsburgh native had been brand president and chief marketing officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. before being named that company’s president in August 2017. He has also worked in marketing for Taco Bell, the Kraft Heinz Co., and Procter & Gamble. He was named Marketer of the Year by AdAge in 2015 and Outstanding Marketer of the Year in 2017 by PRWeek. In 2020 he was named Executive of the Year by Restaurant Dive and Most Transformational Brand by QSR Magazine. In 2021, Forbes named his company a Top Employer in the Pizza Industry.

Education: University of Rochester (BA, MBA)
First job: Making pizzas
Something few knew about you: I played college football
Hobbies: Golf, reading, coffee drinking
Favorite TV show: Ted Lasso
Bucket list: Visiting Australia
Nonprofits: Boys and Girls Club, the First Tee, St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital


Atlanta 500: Craig Menear

Photograph courtesy of individual

Craig Menear
Chairman and CEO
The Home Depot

Craig Menear is chairman and CEO of the Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,200 stores and 400,000 associates. Under his leadership, the company continues to focus on providing a seamless, interconnected shopping experience that blends the physical and digital worlds—leveraging the convenience of its stores, digital experiences, innovative product offerings, and reliable delivery options for professional and DIY customers. Menear was named CEO and president in November 2014 and chairman in February 2015. In his more than 20 years with the company, he has held roles spanning merchandising, supply chain, store operations, sourcing, marketing, and online. Prior to joining the Home Depot, he worked in a variety of roles in mass, home center, and specialty retailing.

Education: Michigan State University
Inspiring people: The Home Depot’s founders: Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, and Ken Langone
Charities: Team Depot, Junior Achievement, Salvation Army


Atlanta 500: James Quincey

Photograph courtesy of individual

James Quincey
President and CEO
The Coca-Cola Co.

James Quincey is chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Co. Before becoming CEO in 2017, he led the company’s worldwide operating units as president and chief operating officer. Previously, Quincey was president of Coca-Cola’s Europe Group, comprising 38 countries including the EU, the European Free Trade Association countries, and the Balkans. The United Kingdom native also played a leading role in the merger that formed Coca-Cola European Partners, now the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on net revenues.

Education: University of Liverpool
Hobbies: I love skiing. My family and I have been going to Colorado for over 25 years.
Favorite movie: The Matrix
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Atlanta BeltLine


Altanta 500: Alfredo Rivera

Alfredo Rivera
President, North America
The Coca-Cola Co.

In 2020, Alfredo Rivera became president of Coca-Cola North America, which includes the United States and Canada. Rivera has held a number of leadership positions within the Coca-Cola Co.; before taking the helm in North America he was president of the company’s Latin America group, overseeing the operations of four business units across nearly 40 countries. Rivera joined Coca-Cola in 1997 as a district manager for Guatemala and El Salvador in the Central American and Caribbean division; prior to that he had worked for two independent Coca-Cola bottlers in El Salvador and Honduras, his native country.

Education: University of Southern Mississippi (MBA), Harvard Business School


Atlanta 500 Ravi Saligram

Ravi Saligram
President and CEO
Newell Brands

Ravi Saligram is president and CEO of Newell Brands, a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Rubbermaid, Paper Mate, Sharpie, Coleman, Mr. Coffee, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Graco, Calphalon, Contigo, First Alert, and Yankee Candle. Saligram is a three-time public CEO. Prior to joining Newell, he was CEO of Ritchie Brothers, where he transformed the brick-and-mortar auctioneer into the world’s largest multichannel equipment disposition company and doubled the company’s market cap. Saligram was also CEO of OfficeMax, leading the company’s historic 2013 merger with Office Depot. Since joining Newell in October 2019, Saligram has driven the company’s turnaround journey with an emphasis on restoring top-line growth, improving operating margins, turbocharging cash flow, making omnichannel a competitive advantage, and revitalizing Newell’s culture. Saligram was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle‘s Most Admired CEOs list for 2021 and sits on the board of the Woodruff Arts Center.

Education: Bangalore University, University of Michigan (MBA)
Why I chose this work: I am a marketer at heart and love building brands and businesses.
Inspiring people: My daughters have engaged proactively in reverse mentoring and taught me humility. They have made me more liberal and more accepting, and shaped my views on diversity and inclusion. One piece of specific advice was to engage with employees on the elevator and talk to them about their day.


Atlanta 500 Jeffrey Sprecher

Jeffrey Sprecher
Chairman and CEO
Intercontinental Exchange
Chairman
New York Stock Exchange

Jeff Sprecher is founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Formed in 2000, ICE is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds, and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. Through ICE’s exchanges, including the NYSE, and clearing houses, they help people invest, raise capital, and manage risk. ICE’s comprehensive fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide information, analytics, and platforms to help customers capitalize on opportunities and operate more efficiently. Sprecher has served as CEO since 2000 and chairman since 2002 and continues to transform, streamline, and automate industries. In 2005, ICE completed its initial public offering on the NYSE and today has a market capitalization of over $60 billion.

Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pepperdine University (MBA)
Board memberships: Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce immediate past chair


Altanta 500 Carol Tome

Carol Tomé
CEO
UPS

Carol Tomé was named CEO of UPS in 2020, becoming the 12th chief executive in the company’s century-plus history as well as the first woman to hold the top job. Previously, Tomé was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Home Depot, which she joined in 1995 as vice president and treasurer. A native of Jackson, Wyoming, Tomé began her career as a commercial lender with United Bank of Denver (now Wells Fargo) and then spent several years as director of banking for the Johns Manville corporation. She serves on the boards of Grady Hospital, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and other local organizations.

Education: University of Wyoming, University of Denver (MBA)
Notable achievements: At the Home Depot, Tomé helped increase sales almost eightfold to more than $110 billion, and delivered a 450 percent increase in shareholder value.


RETAIL

Atlanta 500: Sara BlakelySara Blakely
Founder
Spanx

Sara Blakely is the founder of Spanx, a global underwear brand known for inventing smarter, more comfortable solutions. Blakely was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012, and was featured on the cover of Forbes as the youngest self-made female billionaire. Blakely has invested millions of dollars to elevate women and in 2013 she signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment to donate half her wealth to philanthropy. In October, Blackstone bought a controlling interest in Spanx. Blakeley will remain as executive chairwoman of the board of directors.

Education: Florida State University
Hometown: Clearwater, Florida
Charities: Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation


Atlanta 500: Kevin Knaus

Photograph courtesy of individual

Kevin Knaus
Principal
Kevin Knaus Consulting

Kevin Knaus is an accomplished fashion-industry professional with expertise in trend forecasting, retail management, event planning, marketing, education, and international public speaking. He’s achieved success in developing and capitalizing on emerging trends in fabrics, apparel, home, luxury, and entertainment. A skilled negotiator, Knaus is adept at developing cost-effective resources and solutions for all areas of business. He is experienced in multicultural environments, with more than 25 years of business related to international travel.

Education: Central Michigan University, Georgia State University
Hometown: Lansing, Michigan
Favorite travel destinations: Paris and Mackinac Island
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: High Museum of Art, SCAD FASH


Atlanta 500: Ann Mashburn

Ann Mashburn
Chief Creative Officer
Mashburn

Ann Mashburn, chief creative officer of Mashburn LLC, began her career in New York in 1984 as an assistant to Vogue fashion editor and stylist Polly Mellen. She subsequently served as an editor and stylist for Glamour, then as a stylist for J.Crew—where she met her husband, Sid. The couple moved to Atlanta in 2007 and opened the Sid Mashburn men’s shop. Ann served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer during the first three years, and in 2010 she opened the Ann Mashburn shop as a women’s counterpoint. Ann and Sid shops are also in Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

Education: University of Colorado Boulder


Atlanta 500: Sid Mashburn

Photograph courtesy of individual

Sid Mashburn
CEO and Designer
Mashburn

Sid Mashburn serves as CEO and designer of Mashburn LLC. He began his career in New York as the first men’s designer at J.Crew, and was subsequently recruited to Polo Ralph Lauren. Mashburn went on to serve as vice president of design at Tommy Hilfiger and senior vice president of design at Lands’ End. In 2007 Mashburn and his wife, Ann, moved to Atlanta, where they opened the men’s shop Sid Mashburn. In 2010, they expanded the business with Ann Mashburn, a women’s line and shop, followed by the launch of e-commerce sites in 2011 to serve the brand’s expanding customer base outside of Atlanta. Ann and Sid shops are also in Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

Education: University of Mississippi


TECHNOLOGY

 

Atlanta 500 Kabir BardayKabir Barday
Founder, President, and CEO
OneTrust

Kabir Barday is president and CEO of OneTrust, a privacy, security, and third-party risk technology platform used by more than 4,000 companies in 100 countries. Headquartered in Atlanta and London, OneTrust employs nearly 1,000 people across nine global offices. Barday, who founded the company in 2016, oversees all aspects of OneTrust’s product development, operations, and sales internationally. In 2019, OneTrust was one of Forbes’s World’s Most Innovative Companies. Barday sits on the advisory boards for the Future of Privacy Forum, the Center for Information Policy Leadership, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Cloud Security Alliance, and Shared Assessments.

Education: Georgia Tech
Notable achievements: EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Southeast (2019), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO (2019)
Favorite book: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie


Atlanta 500: Mark Buffington

Photograph courtesy of individual

Mark Buffington
Managing Partner
Panoramic Ventures

Since its founding in 2006, Mark Buffington has built what is now Panoramic Ventures (previously BIP Capital) into the region’s most active venture capital firm and one of the most recognized brands in venture capital outside of Silicon Valley. He currently serves as Panoramic’s managing partner. He has led investment rounds in more than 80 companies in numerous industries: healthcare, digital media, ed tech, enterprise SaaS, fintech, and advanced computing. Notable investments include Vendormate, Ingenious Med, QA Symphony/Tricentis, PlayOn! Sports, Huddle Tickets, Tropical Smoothie Café, Cypress.io, ConnexPay, REACH Health, Trella Health, Shareholder InSite, and Aspirion Health Resources.

Education: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, Tulane University (MBA)
First job: International business analyst for Total System Services
Best advice received: There is ethical beauty in symmetry. No person in a transaction or partnership should have certainty of outcome while the other one has uncertainty.
Hobbies: Fly-fishing, wakesurfing


Atlanta 500 Jewel Burks Solomon

Jewel Burks Solomon
Head of Startups, U.S.
Google
Managing Partner
Collab Capital

Jewel Burks Solomon is the head of Google for Startups in the U.S., which she joined in 2019. In this role, Burks Solomon works to level the playing field for underrepresented startup founders and communities by connecting them with the best of Google’s products, people, and platforms. In addition to this role, she also serves as managing partner at Collab Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund she launched to close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs. Her work and mission is about creating more access to the technology innovation ecosystem. Prior to leading Google for Startups and Collab Capital, Burks Solomon was founder/CEO of Partpic, a startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2016, which streamlined the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology. After the acquisition of Partpic, the Nashville, TN, native became a product leader at Amazon’s Visual Search and AR team. She led the integration of Partpic’s technology and launched it as Amazon PartFinder in 2018 to the over 150 million users of Amazon’s Mobile Shopping App.

Education: Howard University
Nonprofit: re:imagine/ATL


Atlanta 500: Eddie Capel

Photograph courtesy of individual

Eddie Capel
President and CEO
Manhattan Associates

Eddie Capel serves as president and CEO of Manhattan Associates and is a member of its board of directors. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, Capel helped lead the company as president and chief operating officer, and previously served as COO and executive vice president. Before joining Manhattan Associates in 2000, he held various positions at Real Time Solutions, leading teams that supported the supply chain strategies of companies such as Walmart, Amazon, and J.C. Penney.

First job: Pumping gas
Toughest challenge: Managing through the Covid-19 pandemic
Inspiring person: Bill Dixon, A former boss
Bucket list: Learning to pole-vault
Who’d play me in a biopic: Bruce Willis


Atlanta 500: Ben Chestnut

Ben Chestnut
Cofounder and CEO
Mailchimp

Ben Chestnut is cofounder and CEO of Mailchimp, an all-in-one marketing platform for growing businesses. Based in Atlanta since 2001, Mailchimp is privately held, with more than 1,000 employees and millions of global users. In 2017, Mailchimp was named Company of the Year by Inc. and recognized as one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. A native of Hephzibah, Chestnut was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016. In September, software firm Intuit announced a deal to acquire Mailchimp for $12 billion. Chestnut will remain as CEO.

Education: Georgia Tech
First job: Grocery bagger at Fort Gordon military commissary
Hobbies: Mountain biking
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: When you get there, don’t forget to have some fun.
Charities: Moving in the Spirit, Atlanta Music Project, ArtsNow, Ballethnic Dance Company


Atlanta 500: David Cummings

Photograph courtesy of individual

David Cummings
Partner
Atlanta Ventures

David Cummings is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur who has founded 10 companies collectively valued at nearly $1 billion, including Pardot, SalesLoft, and Terminus. He’s also the founder of the Atlanta Tech Village—the U.S.’s fourth-largest tech hub—and the largest investor in Calendly, the world’s most popular scheduling app. After selling Pardot, he was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Cummings is a partner in Atlanta Ventures, which invests in subscription companies in the Southeast.

Education: Duke University
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
First job: Mowing yards
Lesson learned: The importance of corporate culture and building a great team
Hidden talent: Wakeboarding and wakesurfing


Atlanta 500: Alan Dabbiere

Photograph courtesy of individual

Alan Dabbiere
Cochairman
OneTrust

Entrepreneur Alan Dabbiere is cochair of OneTrust, a privacy management software platform. Dabbiere has more than 20 years of experience in building successful software companies, holding more than 25 patents or patent applications on supply chain, logistics, and enterprise mobility software. He’s a founder and past chairman of AirWatch, the world’s largest enterprise mobility management provider. He also founded Manhattan Associates, the world’s leading supply chain execution software company.

Education: Indiana University (MBA)
Why I chose this work: I was a chemistry major and planned to go to medical school, but my father died my senior year and I reevaluated my life. I decided to get an MBA with an emphasis in finance. Between the two, I had taken computer science courses, and when I graduated the systems-consulting market was white-hot. This drove me to a career in software.
First job: Kurt Salmon Associates
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Being tenacious is the most important quality for success.


Atlanta 500: David Dabbiere

Photograph courtesy of individual

David Dabbiere
Board Member and Legal Adviser
OneTrust

David Dabbiere is a board member and legal adviser for OneTrust. Previously, he was president and chief operating officer of Aware Software and, prior to that, chief operating officer at enterprise mobility management provider AirWatch, where he was responsible for all legal and operational matters and played a key role in the company’s 2014 sale to VMware. Dabbiere was previously senior vice president and chief legal officer for Manhattan Associates, where he assisted the company’s successful initial public offering.

Education: Indiana University, Indiana University McKinney School of Law (JD)
First job: Patent lawyer for Procter & Gamble
Favorite movie: My Cousin Vinny. I love the scene where Vinny tips the prison guard who brings him to his nephew’s cell, and the guard pockets it.
Charities: Shepherd Center


Atlanta 500 Andre Dickens

Andre Dickens
Mayor
City of Atlanta
Vice President of Development
TechBridge

At press time, Andre Dickens had just been elected as Atlanta’s next mayor. He has been a member of the Atlanta City Council and is also a businessman, nonprofit executive, engineer, speaker, deacon, and father. An Atlanta native, Dickens is also chief development officer for TechBridge, a nonprofit that drives community impact by bringing affordable technology and business expertise to other non-profit organizations. In 2018, he cofounded TechBridge’s Technology Career Program, which prepares unemployed and underemployed people for careers in technology by teaching high-demand skills while helping participants land jobs in IT departments across Atlanta.

Education: Georgia Tech, Georgia State University (MPA)
Notable achievements: Coauthored and passed resolutions establishing a $15/hour minimum wage for Atlanta and affordable housing requirements around the BeltLine


Atlanta 500: Bernie Dixon

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Bernie Dixon
Chairman and CEO
Launchpad2X

Bernie Dixon is the founder and CEO of Launchpad2X and former chairman and CEO of Atlanta Technology Angels. She served previously as vice president of HP Services Americas, as Enterprise chief information officer for Raytheon, and as CIO for two divisions of United Technologies: Carrier and Hamilton Standard. Dixon also led the information technology practice at Booz Allen Hamilton. She began her career as a leading member of the first class of female officers within the Department of Defense.

Education: Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Few people know: I am a real foodie. Maybe I’ll do my own cookbook on my favorite snacks.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Life is for living and learning. Enjoy every moment of it.


Atlanta 500: Allyson Eman

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Allyson Eman
Executive Director
Venture Atlanta

Allyson Eman has nearly 30 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales leadership, and business development. In 2007, she became executive director for the newly created Venture Atlanta annual conference, and was promoted to CEO in January 2020. Eman has worked with key business leaders across the country and founding organizations—the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta CEO Council, and the Technology Association of Georgia—to build Venture Atlanta, which is now the largest venture capital conference in the Southeast, with over 1,200 attendees including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and senior business executives. Previously, Eman was senior vice president of marketing and communications for SouthStar Funding, an Atlanta-based wholesale mortgage lender.

Education: University of Florida
Favorite movie: Legally Blonde
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Ponce City Market
Bucket list: Italy for my 25th anniversary
Who’d play me in a biopic: Julia Roberts. People say I look like her—I wish!


Atlanta 500 Justin Ferrero

Justin Ferrero
President and Chief Financial Officer
Sharecare

Atlanta native Justin Ferrero has led financial operations at digital health company Sharecare since its founding in 2010. He’s responsible for technology, finance, corporate development, and strategic partnerships. In 2021, he co-led the execution of the company’s public offering, resulting in its Nasdaq debut with a valuation of nearly $4 billion. For the past 21 years, Ferrero has worked closely with serial entrepreneur Jeff Arnold, Sharecare’s chairman and CEO, overseeing all matters related to finance and corporate development for Arnold’s businesses. During that time, Ferrero raised an estimated $2 billion and has bought, integrated, and built approximately 30 businesses.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
First job: Dishwasher at OK Cafe
Hobbies: Spending time with my kids, Finn and Banks
Nonprofit: Casa de Amoro, an amazing charity that supports those affected by child abuse and neglect


Atlanta 500: Rob Frohwein

Photograph by Lizabeth Frohwein

Rob Frohwein
Cofounder and Kabbagehead
Kabbage

In 2008, Rob Frohwein cofounded Kabbage in Atlanta to empower small businesses with data-driven cash-flow solutions. Kabbage has provided billions of dollars to 500,000 customers, became the second-largest lender in the Paycheck Protection Program, and recently launched Kabbage Checking, a new business checking account built for the smallest businesses but fit for the largest. It has been recognized for its technology and innovation with awards from Inc., Forbes, Glassdoor, Fast Company, and more. In 2020, CNBC named Kabbage one of the 50 most disruptive companies.

Education: Dickinson College, Villanova University Widger School of Law (JD)
Inspiring person: My wife. She is simply the most focused and earnest person I know.
Lesson learned: Persistence is so vitally important. Too many people give up too soon, and I think that’s because they don’t realize just how hard entrepreneurship is.


Atlanta 500: Marc Gorlin

Photograph by Jason Seagle

Marc Gorlin
Founder and CEO
Roadie

A successful Atlanta entrepreneur for almost 20 years, Marc Gorlin founded Roadie in 2014 as the first on-the-way service that connects items for delivery with drivers headed in the right direction. Previously, Gorlin cofounded and was chairman of Kabbage, which provides working capital to small and medium-sized businesses. Gorlin also cofounded the content personalization service VerticalOne. He was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021. In September, UPS announced plans to acquire Roadie by the end of 2021.

Education: University of Georgia
Hidden talent: I was a teenage magician. I learned about the willing suspension of disbelief, and that’s helped me a lot as an entrepreneur.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: When you’re getting the job, don’t think you’re just getting the job—you’re getting the keys to the whole damn building. It’s not enough to connect with your boss or your immediate team. You need to make connections with people on the other side of the office.


Atlanta 500: Michael Hayford

Michael Hayford
President and CEO
NCR Corp.

Mike Hayford is president and CEO of NCR Corp. Previously, he served as chief financial officer and corporate executive vice president of the financial technology company FIS. Prior to that, as president and chief operating officer of Metavante Technologies, Hayford led the completion of Metavante’s merger with FIS to create the world’s largest financial technology company. He was instrumental in building Metavante into a global leader of financial technology with over $6 billion of annual revenue.

Education: University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business (MBA)
Notable achievements: Hayford is a director of Endurance International Group Holdings and has served on the board of West Bend Mutual Insurance, for which he chairs the Audit Committee. Hayford is a certified public accountant.


Atlanta 500: JP James

JP James
Founder and Chairman
Hive Financial Systems

JP James is the founder and chairman of the financial technology company Hive Financial Systems, which provides end-to-end financial automation software including marketing, underwriting, loan management, and analytics architecture to a closely held portfolio of lenders. Under James’s leadership, Hive grew almost 8,000 percent in revenue between 2017 and 2020. The coauthor of two patents and a visiting lecturer at Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, he is also chair of Libreum International, a multinational conglomerate with multiple global offices and hundreds of employees serving in advisory capacities for capital markets, IT and software development, accounting and bookkeeping services, and operational consulting.

Education: Georgia Tech
First job: Computer teacher at 12 years old at Peters Township Public Library
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Favorite Atlanta podcast: Decision Vision
Bucket list: Getting pilot-type rating for a twin turboprop
Who’d play me in a biopic: Christian Bale


Atlanta 500: Paul Judge

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Paul Judge
Managing Partner
Panoramic Ventures

Dr. Paul Judge is a technology entrepreneur and investor. He has co-founded three companies that were acquired and has invested in dozens. He is currently managing partner of Panoramic Ventures. Judge is also cofounder of Pindrop, TheraTrue, and Greenwood. Previously, he cofounded TechSquare Labs. In 2007 he cofounded Purewire, which was acquired by Barracuda Networks. Prior to this, he was the chief technology officer at CipherTrust, which was acquired by Secure Computing in 2006.

Education: Morehouse College, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
Why I chose this work: I chose to build software companies because software and technology are changing every aspect of life. We get to change the world by building something from nothing. This also provides a new generation of wealth creation and opportunities for building diverse teams.


Atlanta 500: Dan Kurzius

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Dan Kurzius
Cofounder and Real Estate Leader
Mailchimp

Dan Kurzius cofounded Mailchimp with Ben Chestnut in 2001, as a developer who also served as the company’s first support agent. Kurzius built Mailchimp’s support department and continues to advocate for its users through research efforts in partnership with the data science, product, and marketing teams. He also oversees Mailchimp’s workspace and real estate needs, making sure the office is a place where employees feel welcome and inspired. In September, software firm Intuit announced a deal to acquire Mailchimp for $12 billion. Kurzius will remain as Real Estate Leader. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native was previously a DJ and sponsored skateboarder.

Education: Self-taught LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) developer


Atlanta 500: Lynne Laube

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Lynne Laube
CEO, Cofounder, and Director
Cardlytics

Lynne Laube is the CEO and cofounder of Cardlytics, an advertising platform in banks’ digital channels. The company is based in Atlanta with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and India. Since taking the company public in 2018, Laube has led Cardlytics through numerous accomplishments, including partnering with some of the largest banks in the country, increasing the platform’s reach to over 150 million monthly active users, and bolstering the leadership team and board of directors. Before cofounding Cardlytics in 2008 with Scott Grimes, Laube held multiple executive positions with Capital One.

Education: University of Cincinnati, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Notable achievements: Laube recently earned honors from Business Insider as one of the key executives driving the country’s most promising start-ups and from Inc. as a top-10 venture-backed female founder.


Atlanta 500: Thomas E. Noonan

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Thomas E. Noonan
Founding Partner
TechOperators
Chairman
TEN Holdings

Atlanta native Tom Noonan is a founding partner of TechOperators, an early-stage technology investment firm in Atlanta, and chairman of TEN Holdings, a diversified family office investment company. Most recently, Noonan was vice president and general manager of the Energy Management business of Cisco Systems following its 2013 acquisition of JouleX, where he was cofounder and CEO. A serial entrepreneur, Noonan also cofounded and serves on the board of Endgame, which was acquired in 2019 by Elastic, and was the cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Internet Security Systems, which was acquired by IBM in 2006.

Education: Georgia Tech, Harvard University
Inspiring person: Winston Churchill
Who’d play me in a biopic: Me


Atlanta 500 Stephen Pair

Stephen Pair
Cofounder and CEO
BitPay

Stephen Pair is the CEO of BitPay, the world’s leading provider of bitcoin payment technology. In 2011, Pair cofounded BitPay with Tony Gallippi because he saw bitcoin’s potential to transform payments for businesses and consumers. As CEO, he directs the day-to-day operations as well as the long-term vision of BitPay, from research and engineering to product development and information technology. Pair has 20 years of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries. Before founding BitPay, he held various roles including entrepreneur, architect, manager, team lead, and developer. He holds two patents in the field of streaming analytics.

Education: Georgia Tech
Hometown: Cumming, Georgia
First job: Fry cook at Captain D’s
Hidden talent: Wake-surfing
Favorite movies: Star Wars
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Georgia Aquarium


Atlanta 500 Kathryn Petralia

Kathryn Petralia
Cofounder and Kabbagehead
Kabbage

Kathryn Petralia is the president and cofounder of Kabbage, a data and technology company providing small-business cash-flow solutions. A seasoned leader in financial services with more than 20 years of experience across credit, payments, and lending, Petralia helps lead Kabbage to simplify the way small businesses access the capital and financial services they need to run and grow.

Education: Furman University
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Notable achievement: Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2017
Why I chose this work: Because tech, at its core, serves others. It can be used to give people what they need faster and better than before.
Inspiring person: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Favorite books: Outliers: The Story of Success and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Fernbank Museum of Natural History


Atlanta 500: Tripp Rackley

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Tripp Rackley
Technology EntrepreneurTripp Rackley is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with a background building and growing successful businesses. He’s founded multiple successful companies, including nFront, Firethorn, Experience, and Clutch Technologies, developing partnership strategies and driving adoption prior to their acquisitions. Rackley grew up in Roswell and has won many prestigious awards including the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award, TechAmerica’s Spirit of Innovation and Entrepreneur of the Year awards, and the MIT Distinguished Entrepreneur Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the Bank Technology News Innovators Hall of Fame, the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia, and most recently the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech Hall of Fame.

Education: Georgia Tech
Lesson learned: You can’t be the best at everything. Focus on what you are great at and what you love to do and be a part of a team that highlights each other’s strengths and fills in each other’s weaknesses.
Charities: Marine biology research, animal conservation


 

Atlanta 500: Sanjay SehgalSanjay Sehgal
Founder, Chairman and CEO
MSys Technologies

Sanjay Sehgal is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the MSys Group, including MSys Technologies—which designs, develops, and manages modern distributed systems and complex integrations—as well as MSys Training and Mobinius, India’s leading digital transformation and mobile app company. An entrepreneur, start-up adviser, and motivational speaker with more than two decades of tech experience, Sehgal also founded Pramana and cofounded FarCare and Scentric, and successfully acquired tech companies including Clogeny and DigiFutura. In 2018, he received a Top Entrepreneur award from TiE Atlanta.

Education: University of Delhi
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Hobbies: Meditation
Hidden talent: I love singing and dancing.
Favorite book: Designing Destiny: Heartfulness Practices to Find Your Purpose and Fulfill Your Potential by Kamlesh D. Patel
Favorite travel desination: Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, India
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Avalon


Atlanta 500 Jeffrey S. Sloan

Jeffrey S. Sloan
CEO
Global Payments

Jeff Sloan joined Global Payments as president in 2010 and became CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, Global Payments became a Fortune 500 company for the first time in 2021. Previously, he was a partner and the worldwide head of the Financial Technology Group for Goldman Sachs in New York. Sloan pioneered the development of the payments practice in investment banking.

Education: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, New York University School of Law (JD)
Notable achievements: Institutional Investor America’s Best CEOs, Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO
Board memberships: FleetCor Technologies, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Wharton School Undergraduate Executive Board, Atlanta Committee for Progress, previous president and chair of the board of the Electronic Transactions Association


Atlanta 500 Dawn Whaley

Dawn Whaley
President and Chief Marketing Officer
Sharecare

Dawn Whaley has been at digital health company Sharecare since its founding. She participates in the development of the overall corporate strategy and is directly responsible for marketing, strategic partnerships, and business development. In 2021, she helped take the company public at a valuation of nearly $4 billion. Previously, Whaley was executive vice president of marketing and strategic relationships for the website HowStuffWorks, where she helped manage operations and corporate development efforts, including business development and creation and execution of the marketing strategy. She currently serves on the boards of Forbes Travel Guide and the American Heart Association’s Metro Atlanta Division, and sits on the Metro Atlanta Chamber executive council.

Education: University of Georgia
Toughest challenge: Raising my wonderful daughter, Spencer
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: Atlanta BeltLine, Stone Mountain
Charities: Metro Atlanta Division of the American Heart Association, whose board Whaley serves on


Atlanta 500: Larry Williams

Larry Williams
President and CEO
Technology Association of Georgia

Larry Williams is president and CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia, bringing to the job more than 25 years of experience in global branding, international trade and finance, public and industrial policy, and administration and management. As former president and CEO of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership, Williams led the creation and execution of a new development framework to help the area grow and secure investments in today’s innovation economy, resulting in $687 million in new investment, 119 company relocations or expansions, and more than 4,500 new jobs. From 2011 to 2014, Williams helped shape Atlanta’s tech sector as vice president of technology development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Education: North Carolina State University


Atlanta 500: Joey Womack

Joey Womack
Founder and CEO
Goodie Nation

Joey Womack is the founder and CEO of Goodie Nation, a nonprofit that accelerates relationships for social entrepreneurs and diverse founders, and the founder and CEO of Amplify 4 Good, a mission-driven agency that helps large companies, nonprofits, and government agencies create social impact. With a goal to positively affect 1 billion people by 2039, Womack has worked with clients including Google, Coca-Cola, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Ford Motor Co. He is also the cofounder of the Atlanta Black Tech initiative, serving as colead for the start-ups and K-12 divisions.

Education: Florida A&M University (MBA)
First job: Sears call center customer support
Few people know: Both of my parents are from historic neighborhoods in Alabama. My father is from Africatown in Mobile, where the last slaves settled, and my mother is from [Montgomery’s] Centennial Hill, where Martin Luther King Jr. lived while he was at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
Favorite travel destination: Seychelles


Atlanta 500: Jason W. Young

Jason W. Young
CEO
MindBlown Labs Innovation Partners

Jason W. Young is the cofounder and CEO of MindBlown Labs, an Atlanta-based financial wellness innovation lab whose mission is to empower Americans to make better financial decisions and achieve enduring financial wellness as a result. The company partners with financial institutions to develop digital solutions that connect with users on an emotional level, driving positive saving and investing behaviors. A member of the board of trustees of the National Endowment for Financial Education, Young was appointed by Barack Obama in 2014 to serve on the newly created President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.

Education: Harvard College
Hometown: Inglewood, California
Why I chose this work: My family struggled with money. During my sophomore year in college, those struggles came to a head when, the day after Christmas, my family was evicted. That experience impressed upon me the need to make better financial decisions and help others do the same.
First job: I was nine. I assisted a local plumber.


LEGENDS

Jeff Arnold
At age 28, Arnold founded WebMD and grew it into a $1 billion revenue company. Next came the Convex Group, a media and internet investment organization that acquired HowStuffWorks, then sold it to Discovery Communications, where Arnold met Dr. Mehmet Oz, who collaborated with him to launch yet another digital health company, Sharecare. In 2021, the company went public, debuting on Nasdaq with a valuation of nearly $4 billion.

J. Veronica Biggins
Biggins is currently the managing partner of the Atlanta office of Diversified Search. Previously, she served as director of presidential personnel and assistant to President Bill Clinton. She was also vice chair of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Michael J. Coles
After a long career in the clothing business, Coles founded the Great American Cookie Co. with Arthur Karp in 1977. They grew an initial $8,000 investment into the largest cookie store franchise in the United States. The serial entrepreneur has chaired the Georgia Film Commission and served on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board, and the Walker School Board.

Lonnie G. Johnson
Johnson earned his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University and went on to work for the U.S. Air Force and the NASA space program. Experimenting with high-powered water guns, he invented the bestselling Super Soaker. He has since been developing the Johnson thermoelectric energy converter (JTEC), an engine that converts heat directly into electricity, a potential source of low-cost solar power.

R. Charles Loudermilk Sr.
Loudermilk founded Aaron’s, a lease-to-own retailer, in 1955 with a $500 bank loan. He took the company public in 1982. In 2009, the Atlanta City Council changed the name of Buckhead Triangle Park to Charlie Loudermilk Park in honor of his contributions to the neighborhood. He helped build the Omni and once owned the Atlanta Hawks and the Flames.

Sig Mosley
As president of Imlay Investments and then managing partner of Mosley Ventures, Sig Mosley has invested in 120 start-ups since 1990—likely making him Atlanta’s most active angel investor. He helped nurture the city’s technology industry.

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